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The Inside Scoop: Daley Ready to Go

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins

Trevor Daley said he feels good and is ready to go for tonight’s game against Carolina following the Pens’ morning skate at PNC Arena.

“Barring any changes, he’ll be in the lineup,” head coach Mike Sullivan said.

Daley missed the final two periods of Wednesday’s 3-0 loss to the New York Rangers at CONSOL Energy Center after crashing into the goalpost. Thankfully, anything significant was ruled out and the defenseman won’t miss any time.

“It’s that time of year where we need to find ways to get wins here and obviously you want to be a part of that,” Daley said.

Heading into the game that he sustained the injury, Daley had posted four goals, six assists and 10 points since being acquired by the Pens from Chicago on Jan. 16 – a total that would lead the defensive corps of 13 other NHL teams.

His level of play just keeps getting better, and I asked him if that coincided with his level of comfort with his (relatively) new team.

“It was an easy place to come in,” he told me. “The guys have been great, really welcoming. That obviously plays a huge part in being comfortable. I’ve been around for a little bit now, so to come in and have that warm welcome was pretty cool.”

Recently, Daley has been skating on a pair with Brian Dumoulin – who’s been the Pens’ most consistent defender all year long.

“’Dumo’ has been great. I’ve been enjoying it,” Daley said. “He’s a great young player and going to get a lot better too. I’m excited to play with him and help him where I can and hopefully he can help me a little bit too.”

With Daley good to go, the lines and D pairs stayed status quo at morning skate…

Kunitz-Crosby-Hornqvist

Hagelin-Cullen-Kessel

Wilson-Porter-Sheary

Plotnikov/Kuhnhackl-Sundqvist-Rust

Maatta-Letang

Dumoulin-Daley

Pouliot-Lovejoy

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP

This is the fourth of five meetings between the Pens and Hurricanes, with Pittsburgh going 1-1-1 so far in the series. Sullivan said nothing has changed in terms of what to expect from them.

“They are what they are,” he said. “They’re a very skilled team. They’ve got a lot of speed. They generate some offense from their defense. (Justin) Faulk is having a pretty good year for them. I think they’re the type of team that’s very opportunistic. They’ve got a strong counterattack game. They’re a pace team. They’ve got some skill up front, they can skate. I don’t think that’s changed from the last couple of times we’ve played them. They’ve established a pretty good identity and they’ve played a lot of pretty good hockey.”

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